one ovary

Veronica gets that i am sick after I went to the hospital. I get the feeling she thinks I am not trying hard enough to get better.

After refusing to join her in the reconstructed couch-turned-helicopter, she determined that my treatment needed to be kicked up a notch.


“You need a bandaid. You need TWO bandaids”

we put a bandaid on each hand.
“Now you are all better!”

“I’m sorry Veronica, I have to keep sitting. I can’t be your helicopter co-pilot”

She doesn’t think I’m committed to the recovery process.


perfect isn’t so great

I’ve been a professional nerd for more than a decade now. And for more than two decades I’ve been an amateur nerd. One characteristic of nerds, is that they understand the precision that computers require. Computers want everything to be right.

The details. The extreme accuracy that computers require make it easy for nerds to indulge in the temptation to be as perfect as possible in all areas. It is not just nerds that feel that way too.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell talks about something like this. He points out how everyone is in love with high IQ scores; the higher the better, right? Except after a certain point, it stops mattering. After you get to a level, the rest is gravy. What’s the point of extra credit after you get an A?

But it is more than that too. After we grow up, it’s not a matter of A’s. Other things take their place. And I am forced to contemplate the dubious value of quality.

Chris had a great business selling little ships on a website for a long time. Together, we made a beautiful engine to sell ships and he took beautiful detailed photographs of the little ship models that showed exactly what he was selling. We had an excellent inventory, and a great place for our customers to come visit. It was undeniably superior to everything else out there.

But what actually happened was not a meteoric rise in sales. What happened was the customers would come to our site, look at the pictures and buy from our competitor who was a little bit cheaper on about half of what we had. Quality was not the deciding factor.

Sometimes being perfect is the easy way out. But being really perfect in one area doesn’t make the other part any better. And focusing on the part I already know means I’m not spending time on the part I am bad at.  Like, writing perfect penmanship is cute, but that doesn’t make what I am writing more profound.


life with a nymph: Balloons

Gave veronica a balloon for Valentine’s Day. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY is written on it in a Circus-sy font. Chris thought it was extravagant, but I thought, “She likes it.”

Role reversal.

So, she has been enjoying it, and telling me all the things that are written on it. She says it says” I love you.” and “Mommy loves me” and “I love mommy” and things of that nature.

This morning, she rediscovered it upon waking up. I asked her “What does it say?”

Her reply: “Balloons don’t talk.”

life with a nymph

saturday morning

It is Saturday, 8 am. I’ve been up with 5:30, which does not please me. I just woke up. Nothing externally disturbed by sleep and it was saturday, so I tried to sleep longer.

Didn’t happen.

I read for a while, TOTALLY interesting book about art in the age of mechanical reproduction. But it was too interesting, and didn’t make me sleepy.

Books can turn on you. They don’t always serve up what needs to be happening at that moment.

So I got up. And I started cooking. Chris has developed an aversion to sauteed onions. He cannot coexist while I am cooking them.

He exists on air-borne food particles, like an evolved plant or something. contact with actual food upsets his eco-balance.

damn him.

So I have to cook my onions–AND EVERYTHING HAS ONIONS–when he is away. A closed bedroom door is enough away.

So I have sauteed onions and other veggies to add to my morning egg bake breakfast for the week.

And then I sauteed ahead two onions for later. I am sure I will think of something that needs onions before the weekend is over.

And it’s 8. And now I’m tired. And now my daughter is waking up.

Chris is naturally still asleep.

I was thinking to myself, after parenting…or maybe it’s working…the sleeper-inner talents gets broken. I WISH I could have slept longer. But I couldn’t!

but Chris has a fine and healthy sleep in reflex.

Well. Theory isn’t 100%

Good morning world.

The literary Criticism in my life

Veronica has entered the era I have long wished for: the age of the bedtime story. Books have always been part of her life, but story is finally here too. I am really impressed with Dr. Suess and his use of first person.

…Dr. Seuss and his use…yes, I have been reading him. And I know most people are not going to care about the use of first person in his works. But really! Let me explain why it’s awesome even if you don’t notice it.

Some background: I am addicted to podcasts. Not a day goes by that I am not plugged into one.  I found a new one, Great Writers Inspire. Oxford University made a podcast for me, about books!

The first one I listened to was about Milton. The teacher was talking about his poem Lycidas. An elegy written in 1637 tells us about the use of first person. Milton is writing about a friend who died, a clergyman. Milton writes and writes about how sad it is that he is gone, and some political opinions about the church. But at the very end, he puts a narrator –an “uncouth swain” shows up as the person who has been giving us this poem.

Surprise! …and you thought it was Milton the whole time.

So, Dr. Seuss has a great ABC book. It is very modern graphic novel, with the pictures giving a lot to the story. Dr. Seuss’s ABC was written long after The Cat in the Hat but right before Hop on Pop.  It could be considered one of his lesser works, because it is not strong on plot.

Nevertheless, it delights me.

Big A

little a

What begins with A?

It goes on that way for a while, with amusing pictures. Veronica and I like to discuss whether the creatures are happy, sad or angry. The emotional content of the pictures are more accessible to her than the writing.

There are two yellow beings…They could be dogs, but they are really Dr. Suess imaginary creatures that we readers of his work have come to expect. These two guys are the  book, apparently asking the questions “What begins with A…B…C…?”

It isn’t until the letter I that we learn their names

What begins with I?

Ichabod is itchy

So am I

And the bigger yellow guy is scratching, the little yellow guy is pointing to him and scratching too.  Aha! The big guy is Ichabod. We don’t know who the little guy is, but at least we know that he must be the narrator. And we get our first person narrator, our ‘I’ on the letter I.

That Seuss is pulling a pun on us.

So we look for more I’s throughout. We see the yellow guys…Ichabod and the narrator. But no more ‘I’ until we get all the way to Z

Big Z

little z

What begins with Z?

And a pink and white checkerboard monster appears. She has never been introduced until now. But she introduces herself:

I do. I am a Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz as you can plainly see.

WHAT?! Double back on the surprise. Ichabod may be itchy, and the little yellow guy may have been scratching himself. But the Zizzer ZazzerZuzz is the ‘I’, she declared herself to be itchy way back on the letter I.

Long before we met her. And the graphical component of the book pulled a joke on us, making us think that Ichabod’s brother yellow guy was the one talking.

But no. Just like Milton’s uncouth swain,  Seuss’s ZizzerZazzerZuzz pulled a trick on us.

Don’t assume.  Dr. Seuss was in control of his world. Just like Milton.

When Veronica has a rash now, I tell her she is Ichabod.

“I not ichabod!” she says with a big smile as I spread cream on her wiggly naked body. She’s got an ‘I’, although she doesn’t know what a narrator is yet.

I have more Dr. Seuss to read. Milton as well–I do want to finish Paradise Lost. Maybe I’ll be able to write a comparison with The Cat in the Hat when I do.


Fruitful Year

Hello  February—proof that the year is well on it’s journey and I should be too. I should be all done with all the good things I should be accomplishing this year right?




This healthy eating sites now, they not only nag me to eat pyramid-style, but they have a thing: 5 a day! Eat five fruit and vegetables a day!


I am good friends with vegetables. I can deal with a vegetable. I will buy and eat them, canned frozen or fresh. If I buy too much fresh broccoli, as I have done once or twice when it was on sale, I will do my best to eat it. But if I can’t, out it goes. Wilted broccoli can go out with the trash and I can live with myself.


But the fruit…fruit is complicated.


Fruit is delicious and beautiful. It look and smells and tastes so voluptuous. It came from flowers, and that gorgeousness lives on.


Every year during peach season I am jerked up on a line passing the display in the store. That smell! I will stop and gently squeeze a few to make my selection. I will take the bag home and arrange them. Not the fridge for these beauties. I want to see them and have the fragrance waft.

But I often will not eat them. Because they are too beautiful. They should be approached at just the right time. And I falter.

Do I dare to eat a peach?

Sometimes. And sometimes I hang back and they rot. I am sad about that. I feel guilty. Fruit is so fragile. Strawberries, melons, peaches and cherries.

The more accessible fruits we know. Bananas, requiring violent tearing of the peel. As a fruit they are very bland, and their mortality is very advertised. It is quick and blaring. Spot! SPOTS! NOW! EAT ME! HURRY!! So we do.

Apples are so tough, juicy wood-fruit of the tree they come from. They slice and snap. Also friendly. Cooked and juiced, apples are homey.

Oranges come in a kit, in a self-protecting wrapper that keeps them safe for so long. They can be tossed around a room in a game and be eaten with pleasure. Remove packaging, disassemble and share.

Of course these are the popular fruits.

But many fruits are fecund females that demand to be respected. And berries!

These pregnant keepers of past and future know that ritual and ceremony surround their gathering and consumption. Strawberries are everywhere, but I have learned when I travel to look at the jam section of the grocery store. There will be jam of berries I have never known.

In our world of homogeneity, what a luxury to find an undiscovered flavor!

The ephemeral ones, the hard to capture, the soft eureka lemon, the wild blackberry and the just-ripe peach are what I should fill my life with.


I have to find more courage and stop being intimidated by my fruit.